On 20 July 2020, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) released a Discussion Paper on National Decommissioning Policy for Nuclear Facilities.
This was a well balanced document which went into some detail, and proposed various decommissioning strategies. It posed 10 questions which covered liability and security for decommissioning costs, strategies, and research needed.
The actual costs of decommissioning the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station, including final disposal of the spent fuel (so far over 1.5 million kilograms), are unknown. If South Africa had followed the Swedish model with a levy on nuclear power Eskom should have accumulated a fund of about R170bn by now. Instead, Eskom is R450bn in debt.
This is a crucial, difficult and expensive issue, and legislation is urgently needed to ensure the safe decommissioning of the Koeberg Nuclear plant, for our own safety, and the safety of future generations.
Here is our full submission: